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Montana School Closes After Over 100 Years of Service, $10,000 Still Needed to Preserve 1889 School Bell

Ravalli Museum
Photo courtesy of jimmywayne/Flickr

On June 6, Grantsdale School in Hamilton was forced to close its doors because of budget cuts. Now, locals are attempting to save the old school bell which has been ringing in classes ever since 1889.

“The Grantsdale school was one of the oldest continuing operating schools in the state of Montana for over 125 years,” said Ravalli County Museum Executive Director Tamar Stanley. “The Bitterroot Valley Historical Society and the Ravalli County Museum’s mission is to preserve the legacy and the history of the Bitterroot valley and Montana. We feel like this is an important part of history that needs to be preserved.”

The museum is currently selling bricks to help raise the funds needed to transport the bell and set it up in a new public location.

“The children there were very upset,” said Stanley.  “We felt like it was a great way for them to have some closure, but also to celebrate the next segment of the bell’s life. The bell will hopefully be housed here at the museum, outside on our beautiful landscaped area, and the bell will continue to be rung every morning when I get to work”

The museum needs to raise nearly ten thousand dollars, so far, the fundraising efforts have only generated about five hundred dollars.

 Tamar Stanley

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